The body that represents and campaigns for UK game developers, Tiga, today outlined a strategy for driving up graduate numbers, particularly in mathematics, physics and computing, in a submission to the Government policy paper Higher Education at Work. This comes in the light of recent findings that there is a shortage of people coming out of universities with the right skills for work in the UK industry.
The CEO of Tiga, Richard Wilson, said: “If the UK games industry is to maintain its competitive edge, then we must improve our human resources and our capacity for innovation. Graduates are pivotal to the achievement of these goals. However, UK games developers are hampered by a shortage of good quality graduates in mathematics, physics and computer science. There has been a 20% fall in computer science students between 2002 and 2007.”
Tiga’s reccommendations to Government include:
- A focus on improving standards in schools in mathematics, physics and computing in order to enable more children to study these subjects at university;
- That the Government should provide financial incentives to games developers to provide education outreach programmes to schools and guest lectures and master classes to students in their final year as undergraduates;
- More generous subsidies should be provided to undergraduates taking mathematics degrees compared to other degree courses;
- The Government should help fund a programme that assists undergraduates studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects to get work experience in games studios;
- The Government should cut corporation tax or issue tax credits in a similar manner to the R&D tax credits for business’s expenses relating to education and training; and
- Schemes such as Train to Gain should be made reformed so that subsidised training is available to help employers in the games sector and elsewhere train their employees to degree level or the vocational equivalent.
“The Government should financially support games developers which provide education outreach programmes,” commented Wilson. “At the same time, the Government must relentlessly seek need to improve standards in schools in subjects such as mathematics, physics and computing. Finally, the Government should cut corporation tax or introduce a tax credit for workforce development to help games developers and other businesses enhance their employees’ skills.”